Native Wildlife Enclosures

The development of a wildlife enclosure has been proposed as an option for future uses of the site to complement the Stage 1 Development. The location identified as suitable (from the development planning perspective) for a wildlife enclosure is the low-lying western comer. It has been identified as being relatively quiet, having the highest amount of (altered) vegetation and being topographically well-defined by being set some 4 metres below the rest of the centre of the island.

This corner has a number of existing environmental constraints for development as an enclosure:

Operation of a wildlife enclosure falls within the Victorian Wildlife Act (1975). The commercial operator would require a permit as a Wildlife Displayer from DCNR. In order to satisfy the high standards of wildlife display and management, any enclosure would have the following requirements: Use of native mammal species have been previously discussed as attractive from the perspective of maximising the tourist potential of any enclosure. This presents a number of difficulties for development of an effective enclosure on the island: Although wildlife enclosures provide a forum for environmental education, in general they have no significant conservation benefit except in cases where they form part of a captive breeding program for regionally restricted, or threatened species. If a future enclosure at Herring Island were to fulfil such a function, a co-operative relationship with an established institution such as the Melbourne Zoo or the Healesville Sanctuary would need to be sought.

The following species are subject to decline in the Melbourne region and are species which would once have occurred in the local area. These species may be considered further if a wildlife enclosure is to contribute to species conservation in the region: A number of constraints to development of part of Herring island as a wildlife enclosure have been identified above, raising doubt as to the viability of this development for the island. The viability of a wildlife display development on Herring Island and the identification of which subject species may be suitable requires further investigation. Melbourne Parks and Waterways will he consulting with experts at the Melbourne Zoological Gardens to resolve these outstanding, issues.